A few moments of silence..!

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MOST times, when asked to stand with the rest and spend a few moments in silence, remembering someone dead, I do so, looking at my toes, and counting the seconds, but this time there was a difference, a huge one. Twenty of we classmates stood in silence for the ten who had passed away. It was a sad silence!
In my mind, and without doubt in the minds of my other classmates from Clarence, with our eyes closed we saw each one of the dead, felt their laughter, remembered some of their old antics and heard their voices.
For the first time in my life, I couldn’t imagine they were gone. How could they be? In this very hall, decades ago, we’d stood, sung, and quietly cracked jokes under the principal’s eye. In those fields outside, we’d run, and fought and had our piggyback duals, when we were not officially, playing cricket, or football or hockey, and in the classrooms, we’d reacted with doleful eyes at boring teacher and together showed appreciation for those who’d inspired us, and yet, now there was no one who could wake them up from their deep slumber, six feet under.
It was the longest minute I’d spent in silence, and the saddest. But something came out of that sadness; the realization that we were alive, and I saw it in all the eyes of my classmates; gratefulness to have life within us, and also with most, happiness that we were quite healthy.
Oh yes, healthy enough to play golf next day, and to party into the wee hours of the morning the same night, and young enough for one of my classmates to ask me whether I wanted a lift, and discovering the lift was as a pillion on his little scooty, for a distance of ten kilometers, which was ten kilometres more than I thought my old body could take.
But I survived and more. Suddenly I discovered, nay renewed the joy of living. Of knowing that though a quarter of us had reached the shore across, we the remaining had breath within. Breath to do something which had purpose. And to all ye who hear of the death of a colleague, a classmate or close one, remember as you grieve to ponder why it is not you for whom the others stand giving a few moments of silence.
What is the purpose for which you are left to live? Whose life or lives can you touch in the fleeting breaths you have left? What noble cause can you achieve in the time remaining? So that when others stand in silence for you, it will be a silence, rejoicing a life well lived..!

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